Stylized Games = Portable Games

This mention of Crackdown for the XBox 360 reminded me of something I was thinking about a few days ago.  This next generation of consoles is different than any previous generation, in that one of the participants, the Wii, has nowhere near the graphical capabilities as the other two.

This puts it at a serious disadvantage when it comes to ports of the more graphically challenging games. 

Take a look at this Wii screenshot compared to this XBox 360 screenshot.  Even if the gameplay is the same, the XBox 360 version looks better.

The “but it’s about the gameplay!” argument doesn’t work when you’re talking about ports, since the gameplay is presumably the same.  Same game, different graphics.

So what’s a next-gen game designer to do?  You can fight it, or you can work with it.

Something like Crackdown’s cel-shaded look is a lot easier for the Wii to render, and creating this unique look once, and using it for all the platforms, is a lot easier than creating a completly different game for the Wii.

Not that creating a unique Wii game is a bad thing – the Wii Sims looks great – but it’s probably hard to justify the cost of doing that for every game.

The Wii has the potential to define a lot of this generation of gaming.